The perfect lens

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Following a thread on Open Photography Forums (http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8435), where a member asked about the best lens for a weekend trip I started thinking about my current approach.

When I bought my first dslr nearly 3 years ago I also aquired a couple of zoom lenses – covering 24-300mm. I did this as I was moving from my old Canon AE-1 manual focus kit and had no af lenses at all.  Since I’ve bought a small number of primes.

More recently I’ve started shooting some 35mm film again with a rangefinder and it has been a real pleasure. I think that there are a number of reasons for this:-

  • First, the camera is manual focus and has mechanical controls for shutter and aperture. Small things, but they give me pleasure and a sense of involvement in what I am doing.
  • Second, the camera and attached lens is small. Much, much smaller than my 5D and 24-105 zoom, even though that is a perfect walkaround lens in terms of focal length range, image stabilisation etc. I like having a small and unobtrusive camera, and the size of the lenses means that I can carry a couple of extras if I want very easily.
  • Third, the viewfinder is great. It give a wide open view with the framelines floating in space. The fact that the framelines are fairly loose encourages a more relaxed attitude.

So, I find myself once again carrying a small camera with small prime lenses and shooting film. I know there are pictures that I will miss, but I don’t worry. If I want to shoot in a more structured way I can take the dslr and tripod, but if I’m just out for a walk or with my family, then the rangefinder and one or two lenses wins the day. I don’t have the reange or versatility of the slr, but I’m enjoying walking around with a camera.

The picture above was shot with a 50 and the one below a 35.

Mike

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